Best Bars In Gaming And Why It’s More Than Just What’s On The Menu

Most of us have our favorite bars. The place that our mind travels to for a quick pit stop, a lengthy hangout with friends, or simply a good excuse to people watch. A good bar, a “feels like home” bar, is not about the drinks, ironically enough. Sure, a good cocktail lends itself into the equation of what makes a “good bar,” but the real meat of the matter is the feeling a place evokes. The ambiance that can be witnessed, the familiarity that sinks into your skin, the energy of the passersby. That “go-to” bar is more about the experience than the drink in hand. With games becoming more and more immersive every year, it got me thinking: how do bars in video games compare? And the ones that I found myself drawn to, what made them so special? So memorable? 

The best bars in gaming are always going to be subjective, but diving more into the more emotional and humanistic complexities of some of our favorite places brings us to this moment in time. That’s right, we’re ranking some of our favorite bars in video games! 

Afterparty

A bar where you can try to outdrink Satan himself? What’s not to love?

Afterparty’s bar is pretty darn epic for a few reasons. First and foremost is that it’s a bar literally in Hell. You can’t really beat that. After a pair of best buds find themselves in the pits of Hell, they find themselves faced with a unique loophole that could get them out: outdrink Satan. That would be the second reason I love this so much. The challenge, the purpose of being there, it all adds up to a memorable experience. What makes the bar scene in Afterparty even better is that there isn’t just one bar, there are many, including drinking with the man downstairs himself in his own home. 

But it’s more than just having an objective; the vibrant lofi-esque lighting and the drink options available with the in-game pop-up menu make it a destination that has value in terms of the entire setting of the story and a place to connect. In their quest to outdrink Satan, both characters must be able to navigate an intelligent dialogue system in the game, which affects how those around them see the duo. Every decision matters, every conversation matters, and in a lot of ways, that’s how real-life bars feel, as well.

I’ve met some of my closest friends by having wild, uninhibited conversations with other tavern dwellers; there is safety when talking to new people in terms of letting your internal guard down. By this, I don’t mean jump into a car with a person you just met. I mean when engaging in conversation. I don’t know you. You don’t know me; we’re both here just to hang out and enjoy the atmosphere. There’s a freedom in that; freedom that drew me to these types of locations even when I was at a point in my life where alcohol held no interest to me. Again, it’s about the atmosphere, an atmosphere that Afterparty nails expertly. 

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